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UNC Sorry for Scoreboard Digs Against Clemson Fans

Paul Steinbach

Good-natured ribbing among conference rivals comes with the territory on college football Saturdays. But when the territory is a giant video board, lines pertaining to good taste can apparently be crossed.

Some Clemson fans took to social media following the then-No. 1 Tigers' unexpectedly dramatic victory at the University of North Carolina to voice their displeasure with a scoreboard feature that focused stadium cameras on visiting fans while superimposing derisive text over the images. One such image showed a woman in an orange Clemson jersey with the caption "Thinks that Clemson is in Georgia." A group of three fan clad in orange "Can't name Clemson's last head coach," according to the video board verbiage. And a shirt- and cap-wearing Tiger fan was paired with the phrase — in reference to former Clemson and NFL star William "The Refrigerator" Perry — "Thinks 'The Fridge' is just a kitchen appliance."

UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham apologized to Clemson's president and athletic director Sunday, and has been responding to emails regarding the scoreboard feature, according to Robbi Pickeral Evans, UNC’s associate athletic director for strategic communications.

“We want everyone who comes to Chapel Hill to have a positive experience on our campus — whether they are our supporters or our opponents’ fans, first-time visitors or long-time guests,” one email read, as reported by The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. “The video board spot featuring Clemson fans on Saturday was not in that spirit, we regret that it was produced, and I have apologized to Clemson President James Clements and Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich.

"We addressed the inappropriateness of the spot with the responsible staff members immediately after it was shown," Cunningham further stated, "and we will continue to address this week the breakdown in process that led to it."

Of course, the social media pendulum swung back. Tweeted one individual in reaction to the controversy, “Wait Clemson fans are actually upset over this? Apparently no fun allowed in football or at stadiums anymore.”

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